The 7 Best Movies from 2018 You Didn't See—According to Famous Directors

The year's top picks—straight from Hollywood's top auteurs

If you're anything like me, you didn't make it to the movie theater much in 2018. After all, it's expensive, and with so many great shows to watch on streaming services, there's not as much motivation for leaving the comfort of your couch to enjoy great cinema.

But awards season is upon us, and nothing kills the fun of watching The Golden Globes (which is coming up on January 6th) or the Academy Awards (which will be on February 24th this year) like having no idea what any of the films are.

So if you're pressed for time and only want to see the very best of the best in the year's movies, Indiewire recently asked 52 acclaimed film directors to name their must-see films from 2018, and, as expected, most of them are movies you probably haven't even heard of. And the best part is, many of them are already available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. So prepare to pop some buttery popcorn and curl up on the couch, because here are seven amazing films that got the stamp of approval from Hollywood's finest artists.

"Roma," According to Pedro Amoldovar

roma film

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Amoldovar chose Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, a film which came up over and over again on the list. The movie chronicles the hardships of a middle-class family's domestic worker in 1970s Mexico, and it's available on Netflix.

Ari Aster (best known for writing the 2018 horror film Hereditary) said "in its scope, its technical ambition, and its faultless execution, Roma is stupefying. Made me think of Satyajit Ray, but with a perfectly operated technocrane."

"If Beale Street Could Talk," According to Amma Asante

if beale street could talk

Barry Jenkin's drama is about a couple whose dreams of domestic bliss are taken away when the husband-to-be is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. Amma Asante (best known for the 2013 film Belle) said the film was "absolutely magical—a mesmerizing adaptation that brings [author James] Baldwin's book to fruition on screen. It's a moving exploration of love between two people and also love within family. It both touched and gripped me because alongside its magical quality it's steeped in a relevance on race, that can't be ignored."

"Black Panther," According to Ezra Edelman

Black Panther movie Netflix
Image via YouTube

OK, so you've definitely heard of this film, but so many directors said they loved Ryan Coogler's superhero movie set in the fictional world of Wakanda that you have to see it if you haven't already. And for more on some of Hollywood's most iconic films, check out these 20 Happy Movies That Almost Got Sad Endings.

"Eighth Grade," According to Joe Cornish

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Bo Burnham's dark comedy about the agony of suburban adolescence got an R rating in the United States, which means the very people the film was about weren't able to see it. But it got great reviews, and Joe Cornish (director of the forthcoming The Kid Who Would Be King) said it was "a brilliant portrayal of adolescence with a stellar central performance and a set-piece party scene as horrifying as any sequence in any of the year's best horror movies. And a really great score too."

"Leave No Trace,"According to Guillermo del Toro

leave no trace

Okay, so the acclaimed director of Pan's Labyrinth hasn't actually seen this film yet, as he chose to make a list of the movies that he hasn't gotten around to viewing. But if it's on his watch list, it should probably be on yours too.

Debra Granik's action-packed drama is about a father and daughter who live on a nature reserve and make limited contact with the outside world—until a small mistake tips them off to the authorities and sends them on the run.

"You Were Never Really Here," According to Augustine Frizzell

you were never really here

Lynne Ramsay's hitman thriller about a traumatized veteran who uncovers a conspiracy while tracking down a missing teenage girl also made the list for many of the directors. Augustine Frizzell (the director of Never Goin' Back) said it was "brutal but never felt exploitative. Restrained where it needed to be. A realistic depiction of mental illness and inner turmoil and with one of the best soundtracks of the year."

"Suspiria," According to Josephine Decker


Luca Guadagnino's horror film about a young American actress who arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for a world renowned dance company seems to be everyone's favorite fright fest for the year.

Josephine Decker (best known for Butter on the Latch) said the "mystery is physical. Its dance is political. It goes one million different directions, and after months, I can't stop thinking about it. Any film that does not 'end' when the movie ends… wins."

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more